If you’ve ever created something and then hesitated to promote it because you didn’t want to come off as being self-centered….then today’s question from Todd will resonate and my response will have some insights for you:
“I’m publishing my first book this year: a how-to guide on startup culture for founders. While some part of me fears coming across as self-promoting, I also know that founders of growing companies need help with culture. I was one of them….never knowing what to do about culture even though I deeply cared about building a more human, more authentic company. Do you have any advice on spreading the word?” — Todd E.
This is a common quandary and one for which I have deep empathy. I can tell from Todd’s question that he’s a mission-driven person as well as a giver. I bet you are, too.
As with all things, too much of a ‘good thing’ can become a ‘bad thing’. This is the case here, as well.
If we hold back on sharing because we’re worried it will come off as ‘look at me!’, we’re getting in the way of the benefit of the thing we’ve created that is designed to be a resource for those who need it. Essentially: we’re blocking them from that offering.
A great reframe is: ‘I’m a vessel of this message, it’s not about me. It’s simply being shared through me.’ Then, center your audience in your mind as you focus on the promotion strategies you’ll take.
When it’s about service, not performance, something fundamentally shifts.
Yes, there will be people who will hate (privately or publicly). That’s not a good enough reason not to share the thing you created that you know, in your heart of hearts, will support others who need it. In fact, that’s the cost of admission.
This mindset shift will also make it a lot easier to do the potentially uncomfortable things like:
- Asking your network for introductions to podcasts, speaking gigs, promotion partners, etc.
- Posting to social media
- Sharing testimonials about the book (and asking for them)
- Asking people to buy and share the book
- Hiring a publicist and/or agency to book you for media…